Drive of the Game: JPP takes it to the house
November, 18, 2013
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsJason Pierre-Paul thwarted the Packers' comeback hopes with his interception return for a TD.EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It wasn't long in the making, but Jason Pierre-Paul's interception gave the New York Giants a two-touchdown cushion over the visiting Green Bay Packers with 10:49 left to play in a 27-13 victory.
Before Pierre-Paul's pick-six, the momentum had been swinging the other way. The Packers had just scored, when rookie running back Eddie Lacy bulldozed into the end zone on a 4-yard run. Green Bay was only down 20-13 with 10:55 left in the fourth.
After a three-and-out for the Giants that included two sacks, the Packers had the ball again at their own 30-yard line. It was an advantageous position to be in.
But on the first play from scrimmage, Pierre-Paul recognized the formation -- he even said so in the huddle, telling the other Giants that he was going to pick off the ball. His teammates didn't really react at the time, and Antrel Rolle said he thinks Pierre Paul might have just spoken it into existence at that moment.
The ball was snapped and Green Bay quarterback Scott Tolzien threw a screen pass toward Andrew Quarless. Pierre-Paul jumped right toward it, caught it and used that momentum to go straight into the end zone like he was the intended receiver.
And there was a bonus: Pierre-Paul backed up his own prediction.
Technically the drive took no time off the clock and included zero plays, but it took the Giants from protecting a vulnerable lead to a 4-6 record after a difficult start to the season.
Pierre-Paul has proven to be a valuable asset to the defense, but against the Packers, he might have been just as valuable to the offense.